Putting Nick Foles’ Seven Appearances in Context: How Does He Measure Up to Andrew Luck?


Back in March I hypothesized that the Philadelphia Eagles view Nick Foles as their franchise Quarterback.  Recently, Charles K. took a look at why Michael Vick’s career might be almost over.  If you do the math, then it’s probably time for the fantasy football community to begin evaluating Nick Foles as starting QB.  Well, here goes nothing!

Nick Foles appeared in seven games (starting six) during his rookie season and drew mixed reviews.  Some thought his play warranted a further look, some thought they saw enough to know that he WASN’T the guy.  But, don’t you think seven games is kind of a small sample size to make a conclusion?  What if we put Andrew Luck under a microscope after only seven games?  How would Foles compare to Luck?  Yes, really, I am comparing Nick Foles to Andrew Luck.

Adjusted Yards/Attempt after first seven appearances in rookie season:

Quarterback Rookie Age AY/A
Luck 23 6.15
Foles 23 6.02

It’s easy to look back at Luck’s season now and remember it as being amazing, and inspiring, and promising, and whatever, but the reality is that after seven games he was an eyelash better than Nick Foles.  Yes, you could make a case that Luck’s performance was actually WAY better because he started in week 1 for 2011’s worst team.  Then again, Foles stepped into a Philadelphia dumpster fire.  When he made his first start on November 18th (week 11) the PHILLIES had won a game more recently than the Eagles and Andy Reid seemed destined to be fired.  Let’s say it’s a toss-up.

Okay, so what about the rest of this amazing 2012 QB class? Andrew Luck is a franchise QB.  RG3 is revolutionizing football.  Russell Wilson is causing everyone to reevaluate their short-QB bias.  Ryan Tannehill looks promising.  But is anyone really excited about Nick Foles, or is the idea of him as a starting QB just being tolerated?  Here’s how he compares to the 2012 class in their first seven games:

Quarterback Rookie Age AY/A
RG3 22 8.50
Tannehill 24 6.32
Luck 23 6.15
Wilson 24 6.14
Foles 23 6.02
Weeden 29 5.56

RG3 is from another planet.  His AY/A from his first seven games was outrageous and he ultimately went on to post the BEST ROOKIE AY/A since 1980.  But after him, is Nick Foles really such a slouch compared to everyone else?  Also, remember that he is a year younger than Tannehill and Wilson.  Isn’t it possible that maybe he hasn’t had enough time to emerge as a remarkable young QB?

For some historical perspective, let’s compare him to other NFL starters who appeared in at least seven games in their rookie season:

Quarterback Draft Rookie Age AY/A
RG3 2012 22 8.50
Roethlisberger 2004 22 8.46
Newton 2011 22 7.37
M Ryan 2008 23 6.61
Tannehill 2012 24 6.32
Ponder 2011 23 6.21
Dalton 2011 24 6.17
Luck 2012 23 6.15
Wilson 2012 24 6.14
Foles 2012 23 6.02
Weeden 2012 29 5.56
Flacco 2008 23 5.03
Bradford 2010 23 5.01
Gabbert 2011 22 4.78
P Manning 1998 22 4.77
Sanchez 2009 23 4.74
Stafford 2009 21 4.03
Freeman 2009 21 3.77
E Manning 2004 23 3.52
A Smith 2005 21 1.97

Just to recap, he appears above Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, the Mannings, and Matthew Stafford on that list.

So, back to the original question about Nick Foles’ fantasy value; what does it look like?  Checking the latest ADP report you can find Foles’ all the way down at…wait…where is Nick Foles on this ADP report?  Or this one?  Oh, there he is, all the way down at QB35.  (Translation: you can have him for free.)

Nick Foles might not be Andrew Luck, but he might still be pretty good after all.  Personally, I think he’s much closer than anyone wants to admit.

What I can tell you for sure is that he is free, is throwing to Jeremy Maclin and Desean Jackson, is handing it off to Lesean McCoy and Bryce Brown, and has a record-breaking offensive mastermind as his head coach.  If this Chip Kelly/NFL experiment works out, here’s guessing Nick Foles will be a big part of the reason.  For fantasy football owners, now is the time to acquire Nick Foles in dynasty leagues or as a huge-upside QB2 in your redraft league.

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By Jon Moore | @HelloJonMoore | Archive

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